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Common sense fixes to Windows 8

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#166 +warwagon

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 16:43

i'm sorry warwagon but that's a horrible comparison. the new live movie maker is an incredibly stripped down version of the old movie maker missing half if not more of the features that it used to have.

the same can not be said about windows 8. nearly all the features are still there in one form or another, you just have a slight learning curve on learning the new place of a few things


It was more of a UI comparison. With Movie maker live they basically DUMB'ed the UI down.... apparently they thought the old movie maker was to complicated.

I know they removed most of the features from the new movie maker, but what if they had given all the features of the old but with the new UI? It would still suck balls because of the removal of the old timeline.


#167 articuno1au

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 16:52

Having used modernmix and start8 for a bit now, here's how I think a number of suprisingly simple changes each could make Windows 8 quite a bit less confusing, easier to learn, more discoverable, much more useable and enjoyable and powerful for Desktop users, without Microsoft having (or seeming) to regress or run the risk of inconveniencing touch users in any way.

For the App Screen aka "Start Screen":
- Remove the useless "Start" header, take advantage of that newly available space by putting the user name there instead
- Put a magnifying glass icon in the upper right corner, activates the search charm/ all 'app apps' view
- remove the "all apps" entry from the app bar
- put a Settings/power icon in the lower right corner, activates the settings charm (which includes power options)
- Put an option to boot directly to the desktop into the App Screen Settings (turned off by default, I guess)






Benefits: Takes one click to show all apps or search or reach the settings and power menu, all easily discoverable. Give the user the choice as to whether he or she wants to skip the Apps Screen after a system start.

For Metro apps:
- Button and Keyboard shortcut for putting apps into a a window (possibly enforce minimum window size equal to minimum resolution for Metro apps, or equal to a minimum resolution as specified by the app creator – promote responsive design)
- put full-screen button in a modern app's title bar to set it back into fullscreen mode
- Make an app-specific search field or button mandatory, always in the upper right corner of the app
- Make a settings button in the lower right corner of an app mandatory

Benefits: Searching and app settings easily discoverable and clearly pertaining to the current app, improved multitasking due to windowed usage


For the Desktop:
- Put a settings/power icon on the bottom or far right of the task bar, activates the global/Desktop settings charm
- Put a magnifying glass icon in the upper right or lower left corner, activates a windowed search menu
- remove windowed Metro apps from the multitasking bar on the left
- show active/most recently used/pinned modern apps in the task bar
- Charms bar applies to the active app
- allow the 'Charms' bar and its hot corners to be deactivated
- the Share charm can be activated by clicking on a window title
- Allow integration of the Share charm into Desktop apps







Benefits: Settings/Power options easily discoverable / task bar can be used to switch between any kind of app / Charms bar hot corners don't interfere with Desktop usage / share charm becomes more useful and usable


For the Charms bar
- (optional:) remove the Search/Settings/Devices/Start charm, integrate the functionality of the Devices charm into the Share charm

Benefits: Sharing (to/with people or devices) always just one finger slide from the right away. Search and Settings reachable via the app itself, Start button unnecessary

For the new windowed search 'not quite Start' menu :
- Make a link to the App Screen the first item (as Start8 already does)
- Allow the user to select between a list of either recently used or frequently used apps or files
- put a button next to the search box to go fullscreen - activates the 'all apps' view/search charm



Benefits:
Windowed search option and most recently/frequently used apps/files list brings back important search menu functionality / user's choice whether fullscreen or windowed searching is preferred

1 like on your post.

Clearly common sense ideas. For the record, just because you think they're good ideas, does not common sense make.

Lastly, this should never have been front paged. Half assed journalism at its best. <s>I wonder who front paged it..</s>

#168 insanelyapple

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 16:57

This:

Posted Image

(some people may have already seen this random pict thread)

#169 articuno1au

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 17:04

^ Good idea, but I personally don't like the lack of taskbar icons on the bottom right (whatever you want to call them).

The thing that amazes me, is that Windows allows for so much customisation. If you want something you can do it. I'd have said the start bar has become far more powerful and useful than it has ever been not that it has been removed.

The stupid thing is people are so busy bitching about it's removal, they appear to have missed the progeny of an old technology rethought.

That start bar implementation makes me happy in the pants if I could tweak it a little.. I'm betting I can >.>

Bitching about the removal of the start bar is just about the silliest thing to do on a tech orientated forum like this. If you want it back, double click the executable and install your start bar of choice..

Or **** and moan instead of easily fixing it.

#170 zhangm

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 17:05

(some people may have already seen this random pict thread)


The Modern UI and the Desktop should be separate environments, since they follow completely different design aesthetics. Here you can see that the tiles may contrast jarringly with, or completely disappear into whatever dominant color the user has set with their desktop wallpaper.

Or **** and moan instead of easily fixing it.

Always reminds me of the Font Dialog debacle starting with Vista's UI. Pages and pages, threads and threads bemoaning how ugly it was. They updated it in 7, and all of a sudden, no one gives a ****.

#171 BajiRav

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 17:07

It was more of a UI comparison. With Movie maker live they basically DUMB'ed the UI down.... apparently they thought the old movie maker was to complicated.

I know they removed most of the features from the new movie maker, but what if they had given all the features of the old but with the new UI? It would still suck balls because of the removal of the old timeline.

That's a nice comparison in one manner. The new movie maker kicks old one's ass because it supports H.264 natively. For my own use, I'd rather trade in some finer control over audio (and others) for H.264 support.
You lose some, you gain some. Same is the case with start screen and start menu. Sometimes trade offs are worth it and in the Win8's case, it is worth it.(subjective obviously, it requires improvements but nothing "breaking" as they say).

#172 Dot Matrix

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 17:13

In my opinion the difference between Windows 7 and Windows 8 is like the difference between the Movie maker that came in Vista and the one that the new Windows Live Movie maker




Vista Movie Maker (Windows 7)








Windows Live Movie Maker (Windows 8)







I'm curious, Dot Matrix, which version of Movie make do you prefer? the one that came with Vista or the new Windows Live Movie maker.


Windows Live Movie Maker, it might not be as powerful as the Vista version, but it suits my needs (editing cell phone video), and features the Ribbon UI.

Windows 8 is by not comparison, and still features many powerful tools. Metro does not take that away.

#173 zhangm

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 17:15

That's a nice comparison in one manner. The new movie maker kicks old one's ass because it supports H.264 natively. For my own use, I'd rather trade in some finer control over audio (and others) for H.264 support.
You lose some, you gain some. Same is the case with start screen and start menu. Sometimes trade offs are worth it and in the Win8's case, it is worth it.(subjective obviously, it requires improvements but nothing "breaking" as they say).


Microsoft seems to have always been a bit uncomfortable with the concept of core OS functionality. How much can they integrate without treading onto the domain of independent developers and being anti-competitive? Media player? Anti-competitive. Web browser? Anti-competitive. Mail? Calendar? Barebones only (this excludes the Live Essentials optional download), and no cross-integration with other software or services. Movie Maker has always struck me as a lack of serious effort for people who wanted to spend 60 seconds or fewer to adapt a video file for YouTube.

#174 Dot Matrix

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 17:17

Microsoft seems to have always been a bit uncomfortable with the concept of core OS functionality. How much can they integrate without treading onto the domain of independent developers and being anti-competitive? Media player? Anti-competitive. Web browser? Anti-competitive. Mail? Calendar? Barebones only (this excludes the Live Essentials optional download), and no cross-integration with other software or services. Movie Maker has always struck me as a lack of serious effort for people who wanted to spend 60 seconds or fewer to adapt a video file for YouTube.


Frak that. This is a new day and age, Microsoft really needs to go all out in core functionality.

#175 articuno1au

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 17:20

Literally every consumable document I generated while I was working for Microsoft went to legal for approval.

Microsoft is very literally run by the lawyers. Until Microsoft can compete without the fear of anti-trust they will continue to behave like that >.<

#176 +Brando212

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 17:21

Always reminds me of the Font Dialog debacle starting with Vista's UI. Pages and pages, threads and threads bemoaning how ugly it was. They updated it in 7, and all of a sudden, no one gives a ****.

vista was ugly though, for me it was how they used the greens. it just made the whole UI an eyesore
7 changed that and used light blues instead making the UI much easier on the eyes

#177 zhangm

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 17:57

vista was ugly though, for me it was how they used the greens. it just made the whole UI an eyesore
7 changed that and used light blues instead making the UI much easier on the eyes


I thought it was better than the ballpit blue that they used for Luna.

#178 OP Deactivated.

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 18:10

1 like on your post.

Clearly common sense ideas. For the record, just because you think they're good ideas, does not common sense make.

I guess... But there's really three common threads to these ideas. One is to both reveal and emphasize the context of critical hidden UI elements for Desktop users expecting them to be visible and remove superfluous elements offering no functionality that would apply to the current environment. Two is to offer more flexibility in how Metro apps can be used if Microsoft expects Desktop users to take advantage of them. Three is to more closely align TileWorld with the world of the Desktop unless Microsoft expects users to live in either one or the other (but the forced Metro elements even on the Desktop seem to suggest otherwise). So in short: Visibility, Clarity, Discoverability,Flexibility and Unity/Consistency. Now to be sure, I would expect Microsoft to improve substantially on these specific off-the-top-of-my-head ideas that were a result of a few lazy hours, but conceptually these all seem like fairly common sense UI ideas (to me) and are very much in line with widespread criticism of the interface. But hey, maybe users in the real world will prove me wrong and take to the UI like a fish to water.

But really, Is this really as well thought-out as some here seem to suggest?

really.png


The universal search icon is an awesome conceptual idea in theory, which I very much like. Whenever you think of searching, and regardless of the content you're looking for, there's just this one single (albeit hidden) icon to click no matter your place in the UI. But in practice, you have Metro apps that can't be searched despite the availability of the icon, Metro apps that can be searched but not via the Search charm, Metro apps that can be searched via the Search charm yet still duplicate the functionality via an additional Find icon (so why not just show a search box instead) Desktop apps that that can or can't be searched but never via the Search Charm and you have the systemwide search which is unselected if you're in a Metro app and thus still takes additional clicks, which is even the case when you're outside of a Metro app, since you need to specifically think of and make your selection according to whether you're looking for either a file, a setting or an app. So in the end, has usability increased? Has Microsoft lowered the hurdle and decreased the cognitive overhead necessary to successfully navigate the UI? Is it satisfying to use? Is the result actually better than a systemwide visible search icon plus an app-specific search box consistently visible at the same place whenever the app supports searching.

And to a lesser extent the situation is similar with the Settings icon. Great idea in theory, but in practice, on the Desktop at least, it breaks down fairly quickly. Especially when you start to hide actions in there (like the power options) that used to be rather discoverable and much quicker to use before.

And all of that would be easier to get used to if it wasn't for the fact that Microsoft have chosen to hide all of these critical UI elements, yet seem to see no issue with frivolously placing a gigantic Start header on the fullscreen launcher.
And, yeah, it totally makes sense that you used to be able to click on the systemwide control panel entry in the Start menu, yet perusing the global Settings from the universal Start screen merely presents you with Settings for that very page you're on (Settings for Start, not start here to get to Settings, that totally makes more sense than before)...

settings.png

...and then a selection of plus a link to an actually very narrow subset of systemwide settings.



But, don't despair, you get a link to the control panel once you're in a Desktop app. No such luck when you're in a Metro app though.

Never mind the fact that certain textual elements and even buttons that are visible are nevertheless hard to identify as clickable in the first place.

And when your users (seem to) demand a windowed desktop search options, when they would like an option to boot to the Desktop, when they would like to see Metro apps in parallel to their existing applications it seems like common sense to simply offer them that functionality instead of forcing them to adapt to something that they like worse. It might make sense (again, common sense) to at least make sure there are no regressions in the new interface for Desktop users choosing to totally circumvent the added Metro environment (in so far as that is possible) if they already don't profit greatly from (positive) changes that the Metro environment has brought to Windows 8.

#179 Dot Matrix

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 18:31

This should be feature set numero uno for Microsoft concerning Windows 8:

Metro Dual Screen.jpg

It would be a dream to have Metro apps across multiple screens.

#180 OP Deactivated.

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 19:47

This should be feature set numero uno for Microsoft concerning Windows 8:

That would actually benefit a fairly small group. More than 85% of Desktop-PC Windows users and more than 95% of Laptop Windows users take advantage of only a single monitor.